During the provincial speech, while promoting the virtues of budget control, Premier Hicks took a short break and announced a $ 20 million donation to ARC Clean Energy.
In the past month, an American company with an office in St. John’s has changed its name from “ARC nuclear” to “ARC clean energy”.
In 2018, when our province donated 5 million to the ARC nuclear, it was a nuclear company.
In a way, by 2021, it would be good for our province to provide 20 million to a clean energy company.
For a very small start, ARC Pure Energy has been remarkably successful in raising money from governments. Six weeks ago, when the US parent company was still called ARC Nuclear, the US government paid $ 26.5 million (C $ 33.6 million) for it.
Today, after the New Brunswick government paid $ 20 million for it, ARC announced it would invest $ 30 million of its own money in the project. They call it “private sector” investment. U.S. taxpayers may call this something else.
The ARC-100 nuclear reactor proposed by ARC is very different from the CANDU nuclear reactor at Labrio. LeBron is powered by natural uranium cut in Canada. In its advertising brochure, the company ARC offers a new type of fuel for its nuclear reactor.
The first enriched uranium. We do not have a uranium enrichment plant in Canada. There is an enrichment plant in the United States.
The proposed second type of fuel, the effluent from light water nuclear reactors, we do not have in Canada either. The United States has light water furnaces and plenty of access, which would be happy to export to Canada.
Another type of fuel offered by the ARC-100 is “nuclear material withdrawn from weapons, which currently poses a serious storage and safety problem”. Obviously, Canada does not have a serious problem with stockpiling nuclear weapons, but the United States does. How convenient it would be for Americans if Canadians could help solve this problem.
The effluents generated by this reactor project will still have high levels of radioactivity and various radioactive components, which will require additional control facilities. Strategies to permanently store this deadly toxic waste will not be developed for many years.
After receiving $ 58 million from the US and New Brunswick governments, the ARC now expects an additional $ 20 million from the Canadian government. In his speech, Premier Hicks indicated that he would do so soon.
The ARC-100 is a new, untested version of the old nuclear reactor design.
Does it work? No one knows, this is just a drawing. Even $ 78 million would not be enough to turn the design into a working nuclear reactor, which would be more than $ 1 billion.
Given those billions of public funds, it would take at least another decade for the reactor to be operational if the ARC-100 were actually built. By then, most people involved in this adventure – in the United States and Canada – are either retired or involved in other projects. But that is far from the future.
Today we present another gift to our American friend.
Susan O’Donnell, Ph.D.